How to Use a Drone for Fishing: Expert Drone Fishing Tips for Beginner Anglers


Drones have become an excellent tool for fishing enthusiasts, offering a new perspective and range when casting from the beach, riverfront, or boat. Equipped with advanced technology, these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enable you to scout the water from above and drop your bait or lures into prime fishing locations that were once beyond your reach. So if you’ve grabbed one of the best drones for fishing, then this post can help you master how to use a drone for fishing.

What Are the Main Uses of Drones for Fishing

  1. Scouting for Fish

Drones are utilized for scouting from the air to locate fish in the water, helping you determine where to drop your bait. By providing a top-down perspective, drones offer a wider coverage area and a clearer view compared to traditional methods. This aerial advantage reduces the time and effort you would spend on searching for fish.

Some drones, like Swellpro’s Dronar, come with wireless sonar fish finders to detect and visualize fish from a distance. This feature makes it easier for you to scout for fish and identify their positions without any guesswork.

  1. Dropping Bait

Drones are employed to drop bait in the water from the shoreline or boat, enabling you to cast the bait much farther than traditional methods. This is particularly useful when trying to reach fish that are too far for conventional casting techniques.

Using a drone for dropping bait also allows you to:

  • Improve fishing precision by accurately positioning your bait
  • Reduce disturbances to fish by avoiding noisy boats or splashy casts
  • Avoid tangled lines by controlling the drone’s flight path and drop location

By scouting for fish and dropping bait, drones have revolutionized the fishing experience, giving users greater control and efficiency in finding and reaching their target fish.

Is Drone Fishing Worth It

Drone fishing has become quite popular among anglers, but is it worth the investment? To answer this question, you need to consider several factors.

First, drones can provide a significant advantage in scouting fishing locations. Many drones come with high-quality cameras that allow you to scan the area and spot schools of fish from above.

By identifying potential hotspots, you can increase your chances of a successful fishing trip.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that drones require proper handling and maintenance.

You’ll need to familiarize yourself with various drone models and choose the one with adequate payload capacity and battery life to suit your fishing needs. For example, your drone should be able to carry at least 500 grams of bait, and you’ll have to monitor your battery closely during use.

Here are some benefits and drawbacks of drone fishing to help you better understand whether it is worth the investment:


  • Access to hard-to-reach spots
  • Aerial view of fishing locations
  • Ability to cover a larger area more quickly
  • Increased casting accuracy


  • Drones may scare off some fish
  • Potential for tangled lines during casting
  • Initial learning curve for operating the drone
  • Drone maintenance and potential repair costs

Additionally, it’s essential to consider the impact on the environment and the ethical aspects of drone fishing. Some people argue that using drones takes away the challenge and sportsmanship of traditional fishing methods.

In conclusion, whether drone fishing is worth it depends on your personal preferences and budget.

 If you’re an enthusiastic angler who’s willing to invest time and money into learning new techniques, drone fishing can offer unique advantages.

However, if you prefer the traditional way of fishing or are constrained by a tight budget, drone fishing may not be the best option for you.

How Does Drone Fishing Work

Overview of the Process

Drone fishing is a modern and efficient method to up your fishing game. In this process, multi-rotor fishing drones are primarily used for scouting for fish and dropping bait or lures into the water.

This technique allows you to cover a larger area of water, making it easier to locate fish and deliver bait accurately. As a result, drone fishing increases your chances of a successful catch.

Specifics of Drone Fishing

Here is a summary of the steps involved in drone fishing:

  1. You begin by scouting for fish using the drone’s camera. This high-quality camera helps you locate schools of fish or other signs indicating the presence of fish in the water.
  1. Once you have identified a promising location, you can mark it for future reference. This way, you can return to the same spot or share the information with fellow anglers.
  1. Attach the bait or lure to the fishing line and connect the fishing line to the drone. Ensure a secure attachment to prevent losing the bait or damaging the drone.
  1. Fly the drone over the water and use the camera to guide your drone to the desired fishing spot.
  1. Once you are above the target location, use an attachment mechanism to drop the bait or lure into the water. Some drones even come with a payload-release system, while others require a clip or other attachment.
  1. After successfully dropping the bait, return the drone to your location and prepare to reel in the catch using your fishing rod.

What Equipment Do You Need for Drone Fishing

When preparing for drone fishing, there are several essential pieces of equipment to consider. This includes drones, fishing gear, rod specifications, reel models, lines, and drone fishing attachments.


A suitable drone for fishing must be stable, have a good quality camera and ideally be waterproof. Some drones come with built-in bait drop systems, while others require DIY modifications. A popular choice for drone fishing is the DJI Mavic Air 2, as it can be adapted for this purpose.

Fishing Gear

Rod Specifications

A 50-80-pound rod is recommended for drone fishing, along with an 80-pound leader and a 50-100-pound braid. These specifications ensure that the rod can handle the stress of casting and the potential weight of your catch.

Reel Models

Choose a reel model that is suitable for drone fishing, such as spinning reels like the Shimano Saragosa which are designed for heavy loads and long casting distances.


The line you choose must be small in diameter but have high breaking strain to withstand the forces associated with drone fishing.

A minimum of 500 meters in length is suggested to maximize your casting distance. Lines made from braided spectra fiber are both strong and lightweight, making them an ideal choice.

Drone Fishing Attachment

A drone fishing attachment is necessary to release the bait at the desired location. You can use a dedicated waterproof payload release with a camera or opt for a generic waterproof payload release with no camera.

What Are Some Key Drone Fishing Tips for Beginners

Setting Up the Drone

For beginners, it is essential to ensure a proper setup for your fishing drone. Here are some key tips: 

  1. Make sure your drone is fully assembled, battery charged, and connected to the remote control.
  1. It is not advisable to take off and hover before connecting the drone, as this may waste precious battery life.
  1. When you are ready to cast, attach the fishing line to the drone using a release clip and ensure there is at least 1 meter of line hanging between the drone and the bait. This will give the lure or bait enough room to move freely without causing tangles or unwanted motion.
  1. Remember, drone fishing is ideally a 2-person job, with one person controlling the drone and the other handling the rod. This helps minimize the risk of accidents and mistakes. If you must go drone fishing alone, extra caution must be taken.

Line Management

Line management is crucial when using a drone for fishing, as drones can cast much farther than manual casting.

Keep a close eye on the amount of fishing line you release to prevent overextending or tangling the line.

It is important to maintain consistent tension on the line and keep the rod tip up to prevent line slack.

Additionally, when you catch a fish, do not rely solely on the drone to reel it in, as this can damage the drone or your fishing equipment.

Use in Boats

When using a fishing drone from a boat, extra precautions are necessary to ensure the safety of both your drone and your catch.

Since boats can drift due to currents and wind, be cautious with the return home feature on your drone and monitor the drone’s location at all times.

It is best to manually control the drone’s return to prevent it from landing in the water due to boat drift.

Moreover, communicate well with your companion, especially during the casting process and when reeling in a fish, to avoid any confusion or accidents.

How Can You Use Normal Drones for Fishing

Although specialized fishing drones are highly recommended, it is possible to adapt normal drones for fishing, by creating a DIY fishing drone attachment.

This section will guide you through the process, and risks to consider, and demonstrate drone fishing in action.

DIY Fishing Drone Attachment

To rig your normal drone for fishing, follow these steps:

  1. Fishing line attachment: Find a suitable hook or clip to loop your fishing line onto. This attachment should be user-friendly and lightweight.
  1. Swivel head and sinker: Secure the swivel head and sinker to your fishing line. The swivel head will help to prevent tangling, while the sinker will provide weight to your bait.
  1. Rigging the drone: Carefully attach the rigged fishing line to your drone’s hook. Make sure the line is secure and the drone can handle the extra weight.
  1. Test flight: Conduct a test flight to check the drone’s balance, stability, and ability to carry the payload safely.

Risks Associated

Using a normal drone for fishing comes with potential risks:

  • Water damage: Normal drones are not built to withstand water exposure, risking damage or loss should the drone accidentally land in the water.
  • Payload capacity: Overloading your drone with heavy fishing gear can lead to strained motors or even crashes.
  • Drone warranty: Modifying your drone or using it for unintended purposes may void your drone’s warranty.

It’s essential to weigh these risks against the potential benefits before using your normal drone for fishing. If possible, opt for a waterproof and purpose-built fishing drone instead.

Drone Fishing in Action

Once your drone is rigged, you can use it to drop the bait at a distance of up to 400 meters from your location.

Be prepared for the physical challenge of reeling in the catch without the assistance of a boat, as drone fishing relies on your strength and skill.

Remember, proper rigging and being aware of the risks are key to successful drone fishing.

Can You Fish With a Drone From a Boat?

Yes, you can fish with a drone from a boat! Using a drone offers several advantages when fishing from a boat, such as dropping bait without disturbing the fish.

This allows for a stealthier approach to your targeted fish, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

When fishing with a drone from a boat, it’s essential to find a drone with a stable GPS and a “fly home” feature. This allows the drone to return to the controller on the boat after completing the bait-dropping process or even after catching a fish.

To do this:

  1. Make sure your drone is equipped with a GPS and “fly home” feature.
  1. Set the drone to hover above the water at a safe distance from the boat.
  1. Attach the fishing line and bait to the drone.
  1. Fly the drone to the desired location, dropping the bait gently into the water.
  1. Activate the “fly home” feature when you’re ready for the drone to return to the boat.

Additionally, using a drone provides valuable information about the underwater environment. Some drones are equipped with underwater cameras that provide real-time data, helping you locate fish and identify potentially productive fishing spots.

This technology, paired with your fishing skills, can significantly enhance your boat fishing experience.

Remember to always consider any legal regulations regarding drone usage in your area, and ensure you follow safe boating and fishing practices.

Can You Fish Without a Rod When Drone Fishing?

Yes, you can fish without a rod when drone fishing. To do this, simply tie a light fishing line to your drone and hover over the suspected fish area.

As you gain experience and confidence, you will find it easier to identify areas with fish from the drone’s camera footage.

While this technique can be effective, be cautious. Drones have limited battery life, and hovering for extended periods may deplete your battery before you catch any fish.

Additionally, there’s a risk involved in pulling a fish that may be too heavy or feisty for your drone. A sudden pull on the line can destabilize and potentially damage your drone, or even cause it to crash into the water.

Here are some tips to increase your chances of success when fishing without a rod:

  • Use a lightweight and strong fishing line to minimize the impact on the drone’s flight stability.
  • Regularly monitor your drone’s battery level and promptly retrieve it before it becomes critically low.
  • Practice flying your drone and handling fishing equipment together to improve coordination and precision.

Final Words: How to Use a Drone for Fishing

In this article, we covered the essentials of drone fishing, right from choosing the best drone for fishing, and other equipment you need, to executing different techniques.

At its core, drone fishing enables you to access deeper waters and increase your chances of a fruitful catch. By using drones for this recreational activity, you can conveniently locate fish from an aerial vantage point and apply innovative strategies efficiently.

Embracing drone fishing doesn’t mean you’re “cheating.” It presents new challenges and excitement to fishing enthusiasts. Adapting to drone usage involves a learning curve, and mastering this skill requires time and diligence.

As long as you continue to respect your surroundings, regulations, and other anglers, drone fishing is a remarkable way to enhance your favourite pastime.

  • Key points to remember:
    • Drones are greatly revolutionizing recreational fishing.
    • The two primary ways you can utilize a drone for fishing are through aerial scouting and precision bait dropping.
    • Select a suitable fishing drone with appropriate payload capacity.
    • Be mindful of the weight of your bait and tackle.
    • Use different techniques like bait dropping and electronic payload release.
    • Research and stay updated on drone fishing regulations in your area. 

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